Story: Teenagers and youth

Suicide rates by age, gender and ethnicity, 2015

New Zealand has a high youth-suicide rate compared to other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The World Health Organization's definition of 'youth' is someone aged 15–24, and in 2015 the highest suicide rate for young men within this age group was for those in their early 20s. For young women it was highest among teenagers (15-19 years). Men are at greater risk in all age groups than women.

Māori youth are also more at risk than non-Māori youth. A 2012 study by Auckland University (the Youth’12 report) found that gay and transgender teenagers were up to five times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers.

Rainbow Youth (09 376 4155) and Youthline (0800 376 633 Freetext 234) provide support for young people who need to talk to someone.

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Teenagers and youth - Teenagers and risk', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 February 2020)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Aug 2017